Yesterday, the Texas House of Representatives took a historic voice vote on HB1325 (the “Bill”). HB1325 is an act which, if passed, will permit growth of hemp as an agricultural commodity in Texas and will allow sale of hemp products in Texas. At the voice vote, Representative King offered a floor amendment making minor changes to the Bill’s text, which was passed. Today, the House entered its formal vote for passage of HB1325.
What is one of the biggest problems facing cannabis businesses today? What to do with the money. Currently, most banks are reluctant to service cannabis businesses as such activity could threaten the bank’s charter since marijuana remains a Schedule I substance federally. Cannabis banking is certainly a risk for a chartered bank. Cannabis businesses cannot generally use credit cards or electronic funds transfers. Cash, which is fraught with risks, is sometimes the only way to operate.
Hemp will be descheduled in Texas on April 5, 2019 by the Texas Department of Health Services. If you have been following the blog, then you know that hemp and CBD are both considered illegal substances under current Texas statutory law. However, we have some clarity and action from the Texas Department of State Health Services (“SHS”) in relation to its scheduling of controlled substances. The Department has descheduled hemp in Texas from its list of controlled substances. The Drugs and Medical Devices Division of SHS is responsible for the scheduling of controlled substances for SHS. SHS has the power to amend its scheduling of controlled substances anytime that a change in federal scheduling has occurred. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 481.034 (g) (available here).
Attorney Chelsie Spencer was featured in Forbes this morning for her work as a hemp lawyer in the hemp, medical marijuana, and cannabidiol industries. To read the feature article, please click here to be taken to the Forbes website: Meet the Fearless Lawyer Saving the CBD Industry.
If you live in Texas, you have probably noticed some of the recent news segments and articles regarding the question of whether CBD is legal in Texas. Currently, there are several Texas counties that are actively raiding stores selling CBD goods and seizing those goods. Others are charging and prosecuting end-users of CBD products. On every news article or social media posting referencing these enforcement activities, you will quickly identify several people boldly instructing everyone that “hemp is legal in all fifty states,” that “Texas is wrong because the Farm Bill legalized hemp everywhere,” or worse, urging others to sue the state of Texas for enforcing its criminal laws. We’re here to clear the air and to answer the pressing question of whether CBD is legal in Texas. Forewarning, this is not going to be a short article; however, if you can stick it out until the end, you will have a great understanding of the law here in Texas and how that law interacts with federal laws on hemp.
After reading Part I of the Is CBD Legal series, you may be prepared to defend the statement that hemp-derivatives sourced from hemp grown pursuant to a pilot program under the 2018 Farm Bill are perfectly legal at the federal level and that CBD is legal. “Not so fast,” says the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).
Since implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2018 (“Farm Bill”) on January 1, 2019, we have had several business and individuals in Texas contacting our office regarding growing hemp in Texas. Most want to begin growing hemp on their land in Texas or want to know how to lease their land to a hemp farm in Texas. Unfortunately, hemp growth in Texas remains illegal.